KUALA LUMPUR: Outgoing Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar (pic) wants to bow out on a high note and would love to see the nation’s athletes on fire at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia from April 4-15.
It will be the final major multi-Games assignment for Tunku Imran in his capacity as the head of OCM. He reiterated that some sports will have to step up their game in Gold Coast if Malaysia are to better the previous performance from Glasgow, Scotland, in 2014.
In Glasgow, the Malaysian contingent came back with one of their worst performances at the Commonwealth Games with a medal haul of 6-7-6.
“The Kuala Lumpur SEA Games last year set the bar as we emerge overall champions (with 145 gold medals) and we also saw high standards set at the 2016 Olympics in Rio (with four silvers and one bronze).
“We want to continue with the successes we have seen but we realise some sports are in the transition process.
“They are the ones who have to step up. Shuttler Lee Chong Wei and squash player Nicol David have been wonderful icons for Malaysia but we also hope to see new stars stepping up,” said Tunku Imran.
He did not make any specific references but indications are sports such as badminton, shooting, lawn bowls, aquatics, gymnastics and weightlifting will have to deliver to help Malaysia improve on the medal haul from Glasgow.
“OCM have always emphasised on the total medals count and not just the gold. We also have to recognise the achievement of an athlete, in swimming, for example.
“The Commonwealth Games swimming is world class and if an athlete can finish fourth in the final, it is better than winning a gold in another sport.”
A total of 180 athletes took part in Glasgow and chef-de-mission Huang Ying How is hopeful of an increase in the size of the contingent for Gold Coast.
“We already have 98 individual athletes who qualified on merit and the final numbers should be known after the final selection meetings from Jan 8-9.
“The fact that our rugby and women’s basketball teams qualified for the Commonwealth Games is also an achievement.
“Rugby is world class at the Commonwealth Games and it is a reflection of the improvement of the Malaysian rugby team,” said Ying How, who is also the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president.